chapter  7
Giving in and giving up: Accommodation and fatalistic withdrawal as alternatives to primary control restoration
ByJoseph Hayes, Mike Prentice, Ian McGregor
Pages 17

The motivational impetus to maintain control over events in our lives is very strong (see e.g., Burger, 1992; Kay, Gaucher, Napier, Callan, & Laurin, 2008; Kelly, 1955; Rothbaum, Weisz, & Snyder, 1982). Indeed, without a sense of control, people would be unable to engage in goal-directed activity (Bandura, 1997; Kelly, 1955; Landau, Kay, & Whitson, 2015). There are times in life, however, when our ability to control important outcomes is stretched to the breaking point. In such times, we can feel overwhelmed with anxiety and uncertain about how to proceed. Although one way to overcome these anxious feelings is to flex one’s muscles, redouble one’s efforts, and strive harder to retain a sense of control over the situation, another way to resolve the issue is to loosen one’s grip, accept that one does not have control, and give in to the overpowering nature of the situation. Whereas the former option entails struggling to bring the environment in line with the needs and desires of the self, the latter option involves bringing the self into line with the demands of the environment. According to Rothbaum et al. (1982), the first strategy represents efforts to retain primary control whereas the second strategy represents engagement in secondary control.